Monday, July 6: The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life

In the Gospel of John, Jesus emphasizes his own divine nature, and the book features a number of his "I Am" statements. Join with us as we venture through this glorious gospel.

Read John 10:11-21

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me — just as the Father knows me and I know the Father — and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life — only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."

The Jews who heard these words were again divided. Many of them said, "He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?"

But others said, "These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"

Reflect

God's eternal authority brought fear to the Pharisees because it threatened their control over the people. Do you ever fear God's authority over your life? Do you defy God, consciously or unconsciously, because you want control? Or do you see God's control of your life as a burden lifted from your shoulders?

Respond

Work to give away control to God and to feel secure in his eternal authority. Loosen your grip on the burdens that weigh you down, and allow God to use your life as a beacon of his love to the world. Every time you feel fear or anxiety, stop and simply ask God to take over your life.

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